Untitled Document


June - August 2017 

This is the summer issue of the newsletter Slovenia Business Link. The next issue will be published in mid-September when we again collect news on activities and positions of the CCIS as well as on current macroeconomic indicators.

Best regards,

Your Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia

CCIS NEWS

Turkish businessmen from the automotive sector visited Slovenia

On 14 June over 50 representatives of Slovenian companies attended the meeting with Turkish businessmen from the automotive sector. The event was intended to get to know each others business environment and establish commercial, manufacturing or development partnerships.

Institutions have come together to achieve a breakthrough in the field of agri-food innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness

Branch organizations uniting agricultural and food companies, as well as cooperatives, signed a joint declaration on cooperation in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness with three leading Slovenian university incubators. The goal is to contribute to development, breakthrough and progress of the agri-food sector. The signing of the declaration is an important step in the implementation of the smart specialization strategy and the action plan of the strategic development and innovation partnership in the field of sustainable food production (SRIP food).

Regulations in the field of environmental protection are often unrealistic

 

On 1 June 2017, over 100 experts in the field of environmental protection discussed the topic of hazardous substances in the environment, their sources, be it natural or anthropogenic, environmental monitoring and impact on underground water and soil during the Business Environment Day. In particular, the SDIP (Strategic Development & Innovation Partnerships) Circular Economy was presented to facilitate the transition to the circular economy.

Slovenian companies could make better use of alternative financing sources

 

There exists various forms of investment financing on the market which Slovenia still makes insufficient use of, including various incentives for investors. It goes without saying that projects must be professionally prepared, which were the words of the participants in the Large Investment Conference, which mainly discussed the possibilities of financing with EU and EIB funds the proposed new incentives for investors through the so-called “EFSI Fund” inherent in the Investment Plan for Europe, and the proposal for a new act regulating the promotion of investments. The event was organized on 30 May 2017 by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS) in cooperation with the EC Representation in the Republic of Slovenia.

Slovenian and Austrian businessmen join talks with the heads of both states on the topic of strengthening mutual cooperation

 

Over 150 Slovenian and Austrian businessmen took part in the Business Forum on 24 May 2017 on the occasion of the official visit of Dr Alexander Van der Bellen, President of the Republic of Austria, to Slovenia. At this opportunity, the Austrian President signed the book of honorary guests of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS).

Ukrainian and Slovenian businessmen discuss new business opportunities at the CCIS

On 23 May 2017, over 70 Slovenian and Ukrainian businessmen took part in a forum organized by the CCIS in cooperation with the SPIRIT Slovenia public agency and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology. At the event, Gennadiy Chyzhykov, the President of the Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, pointed out the pharmaceutical and agro-industry, engineering and tourisms as sectors of particular interest.

Approval of a facilitated transport regime in Austria

The Austrian Parliament has passed the new transport regulation that had previously been adopted by the Government. The CCIS and its Transport Association also pushed for its adoption. In the future, announcements of cross-border placements in transport will be generalized, i.e. for a period of 6 months, irrespective of each individual placement. From all the usually required data, (only) active employees and the vehicle LPN will have to be reported during the period concerned. When entering into Austrian territory, an employment contract must be present on board of the vehicle as well as a service ID card in the German or English language, along with a record of the working time. Upon request of control authorities, the remaining documentation in the German language will have to be submitted for the current and previous month within 14 days. The new regulation applies from 1 June 2017 onwards.

Extended validity of the Pomurje Act

The National Assembly has confirmed the extended validity of the Pomurje Act for two more years, 2018/2019, which will result in EUR 3.5 million earmarked for the business sector (public call for tenders) and two years of additional tax relief for investments and recruitments, which amounts to a total of approximately EUR 5 million.

Three achievements for the Housing Funds

The National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Act amending the Housing Act. The Association of Housing Funds within the CCIS Chamber of Real Estate has accomplished three important achievements for its members:

  • easier access to the personal data of tenants and other clients participating in the proceedings conducted by them;
  • also the possibility to check one’s eligibility for the award of non-profit housing for those tenants who concluded their tenancy agreements before the entry into force of the said Act (save for the former holders of the tenancy right); and
  • fewer restrictions for borrowing applicable to Housing Funds.
The first measure will result in less administrative load, while the second measure will make more empty dwellings available due to higher rents for those tenants who no longer satisfy the relevant conditions. Easier borrowing for Housing Funds will further facilitate the building of new public rental housing.

 
UPCOMING EVENTS

21 June 2017: Slovenian – Montenegrin Business Meeting and B2B

In the organization of the EAC Slovenian Business Club, the SPIRIT Slovenia public agency, the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Podgorica, the Montenegrin Chamber of Agriculture (PKCG) and the CCIS, Slovenia will welcome a 15-member business delegation from Montenegro on 21 June 2017. We are looking forward to the participation of Montenegrin business leaders from the energy sector, the building sector, the food industry, IT, tourism, business services and the craft industry who are interested in establishing and strengthening their business cooperation with Slovenian partners. On this occasion, a Slovenian-Montenegrin business conference will be organized with its emphasis on bilateral business-to-business meetings (B2B).

4 July 2017: 1st FORUM OF THE SLOVENIAN DIGITAL COALITION

Slovenia is faced with the demanding task of digital transformation, which is of key significance for its future. You are kindly invited to take part in the 1st forum of the Slovenian Digital Coalition, a meeting place for exchanging experiences, practices and positions on issues, for determining starting points to strengthen e-skills, expertise and competences referring to the topics of:
• liaison between stakeholders in the digital environment;
• shaping a digitization environment that promotes development; and
• competences for a digital society.

24-27 September 2017: Economic delegation to KUWAIT

From 24 until 27 September 2017, the CCIS is planning a business delegation to Kuwait in cooperation with the SPIRIT Slovenia public agency and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology. The members of the delegation will take part in B2B meetings and pay on-the-spot visits to local companies.

27 September 2017: Innovation Day 2017

The 2017 Innovation Day will present real opportunities and possibilities offered by the circular economy – various applications of waste through different materials and technologies (bio packaging, bioplastic products, bio-based materials in the automotive, electrical, construction, pharmaceutical, chemical industry) and more. It will also present the 2018-2020 financial opportunities for projects from the circular economy and offer the possibility of B2B and R2B meetings and targeted workshops. In the afternoon, the Innovation Awards ceremony will take place.

6 October 2017: B2B with German distributers of food products and beverages

Slovenian manufacturers of food products and beverages are invited to take part in B2B meetings with German distributers of food products and beverages as part of the event “Tour d'Europe” that will take place on 6 October 2017 in the German city of Köln.

 
AGENDAS

For an integrated investment-promotion policy

The business sector needs an environment with long-term stability and a competitive edge, as explained by Vojmir Urlep at the 2nd Summit of Foreign-Owned Enterprises held on 30 May this year. The event organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS) together with the Slovenian Foreign Investors Forum (CCIS strategic group - SFIF) and the EU Representation in the Republic of Slovenia, took the opportunity to define proposals for priority measures aimed at attracting investments.

 
BETTER REGULATION

10 June 2017: The aftermath of the British election: the Pound sinks again

British consumers are paying the price of instability by experiencing a lower real wage growth. In March, the interim results show a 0.5% decrease, and it is highly likely that this trend will continue.

31 May 2017: High economic growth: a time for pro-cyclical measures

During the last decade, there has never been a time when businessmen and investors showed more optimism. However, this is also a time to fulfil the promises on conducting a pro-cyclical policy with regard to public finance. The public debt still rests at 80% of GDP and the interest payments eat up more than EUR 1 billion, which could be dedicated to incentives for new investors or to relieve tax burdens.

31 May 2017: Highly qualified personnel: last year relieved, this year under further strain by the Government

The proposal of the Ministry of Health largely neutralizes the effects of the income tax scale applicable to highly qualified personnel brought about by last year’s tax restructuring. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS) notes that this is a step back from the promises of a development-oriented personnel and income tax policy.

 
DATA SECTION

The interim estimation of 5.3% economic growth in Q1 comes as a surprise since the CCIS Analytical Department anticipated a growth in the range of 3-4%. A certain share of the growth may surely be attributed to the calendar effect (more working days in 2017 than in 2016), due to which the seasonally adjusted growth was 5%. Still, this development trend is the highest recorded after Q2 2008. The high growth was mostly the result of high consumption of households, which increased by 4%. Several transactions on the real estate market, expedited renewal of the vehicle fleet, extensive renovations of residential buildings and 25,000 newly created workplaces were the key factors encouraging consumers to spend more. Another stimulus effect was perpetuated by low interest rates and the bank’s readiness to grant retail loans. In the business sector, more than a 10% growth of gross investments in fixed assets is worth mentioning, whereby investments in construction works increased by 1/5, and investments in plant and machinery by slightly less than 1/10. A high, 85% utilization of capacities and a thick book of pending orders especially encouraged the processing industry to increase its scope of investments. This industry is otherwise responsible for creating as much as 1/3 of all investments in the private sector. According to our estimations, the current economic growth exceeds the potential growth, meaning that the Government should take pro-cyclical measures, i.e. reduce or restrain its expenditure on labour costs and the optimization of the social policy. In its last assessment from May 2017, the Bank of Slovenia forecasts a 3.5% growth of GDP, while the unemployment rate should fall below 6% within a period of 2 years, and the basic inflation (without the price of energy products) should exceed 2%.

Below you will find some statistical data for Slovenia.

 

Growth rates in % - in comparison to the same period of the previous year

Latest data

GDP – real growth

5.0

1Q 2017, S.A.*

GDP – forecast for 2017

2.9 ( CCIS Analytical Department)

May 2017

Consumer prices (HICP)

1.5

Maj 2017

Exports of goods

10.5

Jan-Apr 2017

Imports of goods

12.6

Jan-Apr 2017

Industrial production (manufacturing)

6.9

Jan-Apr 2017

Retail sales w/o motor fuels (real)

5.5

Jan-Apr 2017

Construction (real)

19.9

Jan-Mar 2017

Exchange rate EUR/USD

1.106

Maj 2017

Diesel (EUR/litre)

1.146

Valid from June 6th, 2017

*seasonally adjusted

 

Issued by: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Dimičeva 13, Ljubljana
Contact: poslovni.tednik@gzs.si, T: (01) 5898 000, eng.gzs.si

CCIS is a member of the European Enterprise Network Slovenia.